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Wendy
NLWA Wise up to Waste

Arcola Theatre (Hackney)

Arcola has taken a number of steps to reduce waste in all its areas – the office, the café bar, the theatres and rehearsal spaces. These include:

  • Developing a set of ‘sustainable production’ guidelines for theatre companies with suggestions of how they can reduce waste in creating their productions, for example:
    • Sourcing props and sets through the set-exchange website, which is similar to networks like freecycle, where people post items for others to reuse. 
    • Borrowing or hiring props and costumes rather than buying new each time
    • Using clean, untreated timber to build sets. Arcola’s heating system is run by a wood-fired boiler so any timber that can’t be reused in sets will be used to keep the building warm
    •  In the office, setting double-sided printing as standard – even for scripts – has had a huge impact on the amount of paper used.  
  • In 2011, Arcola switched to digital marketing – no longer posting out thousands of theatre brochures, many of which were returned through the post. This also increased their social media presence.
  •  The bar team has reusable bags on hand for daily purchases, such as milk and bread.

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Watch our video case studies.